Poetry Matters

A recently concluded auction featured a trove of artifacts collected by Bob Dylan's close friend Tony Glover.

Long-Hidden Trove of Bob Dylan Letters, Handwritten Lyrics Heads to Auction

The archives of harmonica player and close Dylan friend Tony Glover act as a "time capsule" of 20th-century music, says RR Auction

Section of fragment found

Cool Finds

Fragment of 'The Rose Thorn,' a Poem About a Talking Vulva, Dated to the 1300s

The section of the erotic Medieval fantasy was found in the binding of book in Austria's Melk monastery

Robert Bly, one of the poets who scored in the top ten for dynamism.

New Research

Analysis Breaks Down the Annoying "Poet Voice"

It's not just you; poets also read their works aloud with long pauses, weird cadences and almost no emotion

Cool Finds

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Casket Rediscovered in Former Wine Cellar

Parishioners at St. Michael's Church in Highgate hope to refurbish the crypt after identifying where exactly Coleridge's final resting place was

New Research

Researchers Investigate What Makes a Poem Popular

A recent study found that vividness of imagery best predicted a poem's aesthetic appeal

Langston Hughes by Edward Henry Weston, 1932

Why Langston Hughes Still Reigns as a Poet for the Unchampioned

Fifty years after his death, Hughes’ extraordinary lyricism resonates with power to people

Bob Dylan by John Cohen, 1962

Poetry Matters

Is Bob Dylan a Poet?

As the enigmatic singer, songwriter and troubadour takes the Nobel Prize in literature, one scholar ponders what his work is all about

Langston Hughes powerfully speaks for those excluded.

Breaking Ground

What Langston Hughes’ Powerful Poem “I, Too" Tells Us About America's Past and Present

Smithsonian historian David Ward reflects on the work of Langston Hughes

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Commentary

Should We Hate Poetry?

It was precisely because poetry wasn’t hated that Plato feared it, writes the Smithsonian’s senior historian David Ward, who loves poetry

New Research

Astronomers Recreate Ancient Skies to Date a Nearly 2,600-Year-Old Greek Poem

Researchers narrow down the dates for when the lonely poet Sappho wrote "Midnight Poem"

Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter by Alexander Gardner

Poetry Matters

Can the Civil War Still Inspire Today's Poets?

As epic verse about the American past falls victim to modernism, a poet who is also a historian calls for a revival

This portrait of Patti Smith, a photograph by Lynn Goldsmith, was taken in 1976, a year after Horses, Smith’s breakout album.

Poetry Matters

Poet and Musician Patti Smith’s Endless Search in Art and Life

The National Portrait Gallery’s senior historian David Ward takes a look at the rock 'n' roll legend's new memoir

Robert Frost by Clara Sipprell, gelatin silver print, 1955.

Poetry Matters

What Gives Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Its Power?

On the 100th anniversary of the poem’s publication, a Smithsonian poet examines its message and how it encapsulates what its author was all about

Poet Marianne Moore, 81, threw out the first pitch at the opening of the 1968 baseball season at Yankee Stadium on April 10th, against the Los Angeles Angels.

Poetry Matters: In Baseball, No Poet Has Yet to Do the Game Justice

Smithsonian historian David Ward umpires the field of poetry, honoring the boys of spring, and calls a strike

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